Satisfying the growing expectations of business users
Businesses across Europe are becoming increasingly reliant on web-enabled applications that are accessed over the public internet. One of the key drivers for this is to open up communications with external organisations that are fundamental to core business processes. Doing this provides a competitive advantage but as more and more businesses web-enable their key business applications to achieve the same goals, ever better performance and availability across the internet needs to be achieved by the early movers to maintain their lead while satisfying the growing expectations of business users
- Businesses are increasingly committed to web-enabled applications as a cost effective way of delivering critical business applications 42% of the organisations who agreed to be interviewed for this survey were providing access over the public internet to core business applications for internal and/or external users.
- To this end businesses have high expectations around the performance of the public internet to provide access to web enabled applications 58% of business that rely on web-enabled applications expect their users to get responses within 3 seconds, 90% within 5 seconds. 84% expect the internet to have an availability better than 99%
- However, there is dissatisfaction around the performance of the internet and the ability to measure and improve the end user experience 64% of respondents consider that either the performance of the raw internet is not good enough or that they need to take - or are already taking - measures to improve the performance of specific applications across it
- Various technologies are used by businesses to solve these problems including hardware upgrades, content-filtering and data compression 45% said they had turned to brute force and upgraded hardware, 39% have used content-filtering to curtail user activity and save bandwidth, 32% have implemented data compression of some sort
- Fewer had turned to subtler techniques such as managed services to monitor and maximise internet performance or appliances to handle compression, data reduction and caching 70% of the users of web-enabled applications in this survey had implemented neither a managed service or an appliance, only 10% of the sample had deployed both
- Those that had used a managed service or appliances showed a high level of satisfaction with the performance improvements achieved 84% of users of managed services agreed that the service had improved internet performance as expected, for appliances the figure was 66%.
The internet has come a long way since the world wide wait of the 1990s and is now fundamental to the delivery of business critical applications for many organisations. The drivers behind this are traditional business ones, drive down costs, increase sales - be competitive. Web-enabled applications have a key role to play in helping organisations achieve these goals and for those that have made the commitment there is no desire to turn back. But the competitive advantage will be lost as more and more businesses follow and make the internet a key part of application delivery. As that happens the competitive edge will go to those who get the most out of it and to do that will require the deployment of advanced products and services that can help meet the growing expectations of business users to tame the internet and deliver acceptable performance and availability across it.
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